Zimbabweans suffer because elephant conservation is so good
A herd of elephants in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park – Screenshot geographical.co.uk
Unlike other countries, where elephant poaching has made the species’ population endangered, the elephant “population” in Zimbabwe has steadily increased by around 5% a year.
This has led to the inevitable clashes between the elephants and the 15 million Zimbabweans over food and water protection.
“In some areas, elephants move in large herds and gobble up everything in the fields. They burst into inhabited areas forcing villagers to fight back and injuring some,” government spokesman Nick Nick said. Mangwana stated the situation on Twitter on May 10.
According to Mr. Mangwana, the injured elephants became aggressive and returned to attack people more violently than before, causing many deaths and injuries.
In the first few months of this year alone, 60 people died because of being trampled by elephants, and 50 others were injured. For the whole of 2021, Zimbabwe recorded 72 fatal elephant trampling incidents.
The number of human-elephant clashes and human casualties is expected to increase as Zimbabwe approaches the dry season.
This is the time when elephants will become more active and move more widely to find food and water, according to AFP news agency.
Tinashe Farawo, an official with the Zimbabwe Wildlife and Parks Authority, warned of a “disaster” if the country’s elephant population did not decrease.
Rangers have been ordered to hunt down and take down the most aggressive elephants before the dry season arrives.
According to calculations by wildlife conservationists, Zimbabwe can ensure balance with a herd of about 45,000 elephants.
Since the elephant trade is banned worldwide, the Zimbabwean government is thinking of neutering or allowing elephant hunting to keep the herd size manageable.
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